Wednesday September 30, 2020
Rapidly spreading flame rollers threaten wine regions in Northern California. Violent forest fires only caused serious damage here in 2017. This time tens of thousands of people have to flee their homes.
The California wine regions of Napa and Sonoma Valley north of San Francisco are again hit by fire storms. The so-called glass fire has already destroyed 80 buildings in the area, said the Cal Fire Authority. Nearly 1,500 emergency services battled the flames, but the fire that broke out on Sunday was still completely out of control, he said.
Tens of thousands of residents had to flee their homes. However, no deaths or disappearances have been reported, Sonoma County sheriff Mark Essick said Tuesday. Meanwhile, wildfire in Shasta County, northern California, killed at least three people the previous day. In rural areas, the so-called Zogg fire has destroyed almost 150 buildings since Sunday. The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.
The glass fire damaged at least a dozen vineyards, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It went so quickly,” Burgess Cellars’ Carlton McCoy told the newspaper about the fire, fueled by high winds. Parts of the basement, including a warehouse and a building from 1880, were destroyed. They would of course rebuild and continue their operations, McCoy explained.
The region has been hit by regular fires in recent years, particularly in 2017 when multiple forest fires in Sonoma, Napa and Santa Rosa destroyed more than 6,000 buildings. Dozens of people died, and sometimes 100,000 residents fled the flames.
Sheriff Essick spoke of “fire fatigue” on Tuesday. He warned residents to pack their bags anyway and to follow the evacuation orders of the firefighters.
Dozens of major fires have raged on the west coast of the United States since mid-August. At least 29 people were killed in the wildfire and thousands of buildings have been destroyed so far. The worst fires in recent California history have already destroyed more than 15,000 square kilometers of land.
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